‘Utopian Realism’ is an exploration of rural utopianism, idealism and industrialism in the North East of England and Mid Wales by the artists Mair Hughes and Bridget Kennedy.

Thursday, 17 January 2013

A Decaying Craft

A few shots of the 'Bureau Vivant' as it was installed in the Robert Owen Museum in Newtown. It seemed fitting at the end of the first phase of our project to come back to the original phrase that caught our attention and became the title of the project, 'Utopian Realism'. I thought back to the homely crafts of the Victorian era, and found it pleasing to imagine using a pomander as a vehicle to communicate a radical vision of society. It also felt fitting that the pomander be made using a high status fruit such as a pineapple. Pressing those sharp tack-like cloves into the fragrant and dripping yellow flesh was an odd mixture of pleasure and pain. The sheer bulk of juicy flesh spelled the downfall of the pomander; it never made it's way in to posterity as the antiseptic qualities of the cloves were not enough to stave off mould and eventual deterioration.

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